Last Fall, Ed Fell and I introduced "The Authentic Lover: Intimacy, Sexuality, and Relationship Mastery skills for Men", and we led our first weekend workshop in January. This is really rich work, and we know we've just begun to tap the expansion and depth that's possible in men's work around these issues.
As part of this work, I had to examine a core question - "What is the Authentic Lover?" We looked at this in the workshop as well. Here is some of what we've found as the answer - with more to come as this archetype develops over time!
- The Authentic Lover knows and respects his own needs, boundaries, and desires.
- Whatever the challenges of the world and his relationship, he does not abandon himself!
- He seeks to understand the needs, boundaries, and desires of his partner, and respects those as well.
- The Authentic Lover honors his own body.
- He values and welcomes pleasure as a part of his divine birthright, and as an integral part of the practice of intimacy.
- He initiates intimate connection with his partner.
- The Authentic Lover is honest with his parter about his own experience.
- He is accountable for his mistakes, and also willing to forgive himself for them.
- He notices his moods when they arise, and takes responsibility for resolving them.
- He commits to maintaining honesty, integrity, and transparency unconditionally - no matter what mood he is in.
- The Authentic Lover is willing to surrender his pride - anytime and anywhere that it serves his truth and his intimate connections.
- He understands that life is play, and is ready to not be so serious.
- He asks for help when he needs it - from his partner, from friends, from the Divine, or from professional resources.
I'd love to hear feedback from men or women on how these qualities sit with you, and what else you think is essential.